This may sound like a fairy tale to some of us especially those who have never traveled out of their respective countries to face the realities on the ground. Majority of such always think that things are done the same way as in their own countries. A real but pathetic story, one that can pose a million dollar question. This “Super student” as is being referred to in Denmark was supposed to work 20 hours a week but worked 21.5 hrs. An extra 1.5hr . He has been punished for that.
Marius Nteguem Youbi that you see on the image above is a Cameroonian that came to Denmark to further his studies. In the course of his studies, Marius came face to face with the realities and the challenges of being a foreign student, paying fees, house rents, other bills etc in one of the world’s most expensive country Denmark. Marius being a smart, Intelligent and hard working guy decided to look for a job to handle and face these challenges.
Denmark until the last 2 years used to give foreign students the opportunity to work for 15hours per week to assist them in their stay and studies but raised to 20 hours recently. These hours for a student from a poor background can only permit a him or her afford a little room in the student hostel while feeding, fees, and other responsibilities are at the mercy of God.
Marius picked a job to sustain his stay without being dependent on the Danish Government which according to some was 21.5Hours a week, little did he know that this was a trap set for him. Marius had actually “broken” the Danish law for working One and a half (I.5hr) hour illegally. For this reason and no other, Marius was asked to leave Denmark despite all odds.
Marius until today was a student of Aarhus University (Aarhus is the second city in Denmark) studying in a town called Herning. Despite the job Marius kept, he never was affected by his studies in any form. He was and remained the first in his class even during the crisis. He hailed the Flag of Cameroon very high as one of the greatest countries in Human resources.
When His school learnt of the decision by the Danish Immigration Law, Two exams were pending at that time and they decided to Organize them for him. The Danish system of education is organized into point system (character) unlike in the UK where percentage is used. It starts from Zero to twelve (0-12) where 0 is F and 12 is A or A+. Example of their grading system is as follows
12=A, 10= B, 7=C, 4= D, 2=E, 0=F and -2=U
I am stating this not because i studied in the same system but because i want you to look at how some people do not value Gold. Marius went in for the first Exam and came out with a 12, an A+. The school could not understand this and called for the second exam, he got in again and struck another 12, Then the third exam about 2 weeks ago he was called to the semester Exams. At this time the Danish Media had become interested in the case and even waited outside to meet this genius of a Marius. When he came out of the exam room, he was surprised to see TV MidVest waiting on him. He had kept another record with the 3rd 12 (A+).
Here is Video on one of the Danish media meeting this Great Hero from Cameroon and to tell you that he speaks danish like someone born there when he has only spent months. Some us who spent years there can not even speak a quarter of what comes out of his mouth especially with that danish accent.
Marius himself was so happy that he could not describe his success, he said he felt like a football player that had won the world cup despite all the crisis and challenges.
The school authorities after deliberations decided to hang on his case, that such a student could not be sent out without completing his studies. They contacted the Immigration office and even the Danish foreign minister to no avail.
Thousands (17,000) of Danes and students signed petitions against the decision but failed. Some of the comments made by some danes were even aggressive to their country as a whole but as we say, No one is above the law. This is one of the cases being proven.
Christina Lyhne whose comment was liked by thousands of people said “Håber politikerne snart forstår alvoren i det her… Vi udelukker simpelthen den gode arbejdskraft, for at have plads til forbrydere.. Godt du holder hovedet højt!!” Paraphrasing, She hopes that politicians will understand how serious this is, how the country rejects experts and open doors to criminals.
Last Tuesday 5th Jan 2016, a demonstration was organized in Herning where more than 300 Danes came out to fight for this engineer student with the main opposition leading party leader in the town taking part and giving a talk. Our victim Marius was also available where he thanked all for their support. This was to force the Danish Government reverse the decision still to no avail. There is a link in Danish for the demonstration…
This morning Marius stood at the Billund International with his sister to quit Denmark, was this for good? Marius himself promised the sister that he will be back maybe after three months as he has to apply again from start. It takes usually at least 3 months to handle a student application and it is the hope of all that Marius be given a chance to go back and complete his studies which he already paid for.
What has Marius achieved for foreign students? A lot has been achieved but if there is one thing that i have to mention it is because i feel proud as a Cameroonian and one that went through a similar situation though not sent out but left with a huge debt as i could not afford my fees and had to put my family and family into huge debts and loan that will take years to pay. There are many of us, some lucky ones like Romeo Ellad and our elder sister Birka Angeline were only fined but not sent back home. The question now is, why was he not fined? The answer again is mingling in the air. But to come back to one Great achievement Marius had brought to foreign students in Denmark is the fact that the Minister has agreed to look into the law again. This might brought some hope to millions of tuition students embarking on a similar journey.
Food for thought:
We should understand that going abroad is not a solution to our family crisis completely. One never knows the reasons why foreign students break rules, is it to survive? is it to provide for family back home? Keep and maintain friends? The pressure we put on some of these students abroad can end up frustrating them more. We should give them the chance to study and either come back home for a job or get a job where they have studied before we expect from them.
Marius says this before leaving Denmark “I have lost all”. We all know what he meant but to me he has achieved a lot. He has also shown how strong some of us Africans are, by combining work and school to survive yet we still beat the most happy people in the world (The danes) in academics. This only exposed the ugly part of the country that is looked upon as a “Paradise”
More to follow
Shey Tatah Sevidzem (Wo Scandy)